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Rainbows are Free - Head Pains

Rainbows are Free
Head Pains
by Bedani Bandolier at 21 January 2020, 2:51 PM

The lads in RAINBOWS ARE FREE (2007) hail from Norman, Oklahoma and this late 2019 slab “Head Pains” shows the cool patience that one possesses by being a denizen of that part of the country. These cats bring an insidious musical grind without the sweet and noxious guitar clang fix I hear in too much of the current guitar production notes of post-modern pop and rock. In a word, perspicacious.  Like when you know you are driving too fast but the abandon just feels so damn good that you do it anyhow for the heart shuddering adrenaline.

“The Sound Inside” clogs in to start up the barbecue with Bobby Onspaugh doing bass riff duty for a trancer of an opening tune, a smoky number slathered in just enough brisket grease to let the meaty notes smoulder in your head space. Track #2 “Electricity On Wax” sparks up the danger joint that the lads in AEROSMITH used to burn regularly and ended about the time “When the Lightning Strikes” signaled the end of that high-risk era, and RAINBOWS ARE FREE show the same careening chill with “Electricity On Wax” casually slithering away in a banging both walls wah-wah guitar outro. The menace rumbles on in the chattering pressure cooker boil of “Shapeshifter”. “Covered in Dawn” has lead throat B. Fain Kistler doing a three-way tag team with vocals alá Ian Astbury - Ian Curtis - Geoff Tate. On “Lady of the Woods/Psychonaut” Kistler conjures Gerard Way in his theatrical vocal presentation. “A Penny’s Worth” gives us some more AEROSMITH love with guitarists Richie Tarver and Joey Powell showing that they learned their lessons well at the Perry – Whitford school of rock with damn well thought out guitar refrains and some lyrical original guitar orchestration hung out in the small plate reverb rain. “Eunice” ends this transmission with a medieval festival flavored guitar and vocal incantation piece that winds us down.

This release by RAINBOWS ARE FREE kinda took me by surprise. I know many bands usually have more than one sonic dimensional aspect but you don´t get to see that often with the current flavor of the month soaking up all the production oxygen and everyone else following the herd. But here we have Head Pain to prove me wrong; not that this type of late 70’s mood altering rock production has not been done before, but that it doesn’t pollinate, flower and bear the wicked fruit as the AEROSMITH Rocks tree intends. Cool patience is on display here with everything from the drums and percussion to the final mix …. and dig the far out release cover art for "Head Pains" by Tony Roberts.
I bit the apple. Have a listen yerselfs to "Head Pains."

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. The South Inside
2. Electricity On Wax
3. Shapeshifter
4. Covered In Dawn
5.  Lady of the Woods/Psychonaut
6. Nile Song
7. A Penny’s Worth
8. Eunice
B. Fain Kistler - Vocals
Richie Tarver - Guitar
Joey Powell - Guitar
Bobby Onspaugh - Drums
Jason Smith - Bass
Record Label: Argonauta Records


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